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Friday, 29 October 2010

God Help Us All

As more and more details of this so-called comprehensive spending review are emerging, it is looking more like what it actually is not what it claims to be. It isn’t anything even remotely close to a nation’s budget. This monstrous document is a fiercely aggressive and monumentally mind-blowing draconian supernova.
The financial meltdown of 2008-9 and Labour’s mismanagement of the treasury gave the Tories once in a century chance of finishing what Thatcherites started in the 80’s:
• Replacing Keynesian policies with neo-liberalist ones.
• Stripping the society of all that is good, just and charitable.
• Turning this country into a barren post apocalyptic land of capitalism, where social justice is stuff of science fiction.
• Truly, actually and factually turning Britain into the junior partner of America; where everything is run by money hungry corporations, where mentioning free health care and welfare state is synonymous with being a billion times worth than Stalin and Mao put together.
If I didn’t know anything about Cameron and Osborne’s politics, and someone asked me to draw an honest mental picture of them just based on the spending review, I would say they most definitely grew up dreaming of playing Frisbee with Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher while being tutored by them, learning how to pin all the problems that exist in every single society on the poor, the unfortunate and the working class.
If anyone just looks at the housing benefits section of the spending review, it will be as clear as day that how brutal and devastating the effects are going to be. Cuts to the housing benefits will result in a mass exile of at least 2 million people from inner London, likes of which are unheard of in contemporary peace times. They will have to move closer to M25 or even outside of it in order to be able to afford a place to live; they won’t be able to commute to central London to their jobs and very likely will have to find employment elsewhere. There will be a vacuum of employment in inner London. Even some Tory politicians such as Boris Johnson are opposed to this social cleansing. Somebody needs to tell Mr Osborne that a cosmopolitan city such as London could not survive without working class people. Somebody needs to shout and scream at Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne and tell them:
“if you have what it takes, if you have a single shred of courage blame the budget deficit on people who caused it, crucify the sleazy corporate fat cats of Wall Street who caused the financial meltdown that brought our planet to the brink of bankruptcy, the working class people, the poor and impoverished haven’t done anything wrong, leave us alone and let us be…”.
But the chancellor would never do such a thing, he would never go after the bankers and financial feudalists, he is a trust fund child himself, he would never harm his own kind.
We all need to seriously dig deep and do a thorough cultural shake up; we need to rid ourselves of this culture of political masochism and apologism. We are all living in very dangerous times and a very important period of our domestic modern times. If the government goes ahead and implements all these policies, the negative and sinister effects of them could not be reversed, full stop. If I was a man of faith I would say may God help us all.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Summery of Benefit Cuts

This is a summery, as accurate as i can get it, of all the benefit changes and cuts on the horizon, based on the Spending Review, government announcements and existing legislation. Please, please write in with anything else you know as knowledge really is power in these dark times!

Some initial thoughts:

1. Theres lots we don't know: Benefit changes can only happen after acts of parliament are passed and regulations drawn up. Until this happens, we really don't know exactly how the changes will work out in practice. However, we can see that they're not good!

2. Everything can change: In the process of getting these cuts from policy idea and plans to actual real life changes in the benefit system, everything can change, especially the more complex things.

3. Benefit changes, in themselves, cause difficulties: Look at the mess that is Employment and Support Allowance or better still, tax credits to see the human misery caused by so called "teething problems." Now add into the mix, massive job cuts across the welfare system and you can imagine the chaos that will ensue!

4. Theres everything to fight For: None of this is set in stone, everything can change. We need to get together and fight for the benefits system we deserve!

Now, the bad news......

Sickness and Disability
1.Sickness benefits cut and sick people forced to look for work. New claimants already have to claim Employment and Support Allowance instead of Incapacity Benefit or Income Support, more people will be moved onto Employment and Support Allowance in the future.

2.Employment and Support Allowance stops completely after one year from April 2011
Disability Living Allowance taken away from disabled people in residential care from April 2012

3. Disability Living Allowance claimants subjected to medical testing from April 2012

4. Pension Credit for pensioners with savings, frozen for four years between April 2011 to April 2015

5.Cold weather Payment to be frozen at £25 for ever from November 2010

Housing Benefit
6. Single people under 35 can only rent a single room from April 2012

7.Housing Benefit for people renting privately will be cut first to 70% of the average rent, then again to only 30% of the average rent from April 2011

8.Housing Benefit cut by 10% to anyone out of work for more than one year from 2011

9. Child Benefit taken away from better off families from January 2013

10.Single mothers expected to look for work. This is happening right now!

Working People
11. Working Tax Credit rates frozen April 2011 to 2014

12. Money for childcare for people claiming Working Tax Credit cut to 70% of the actual cost of the childcare from April 2011

13. Working Tax Credit taken away completely from two parent families working less than 24 hours per week from April 2011

14. Total benefits anyone can receive capped at £500 per week from 2011

15. All the different benefits to be merged into one single benefit. This is planned at some point in the future.

16. Longer waiting times, more mix ups, worse decisions and less help to sort things out. This is happening right now but will get much worse! Massive job cuts amongst workers who process claims and appeals will mean that the remaining staff will struggle to keep the system running and on top of that, learn to administrate the changes.

17. More useless schemes run by A4E, Reed in partnership etc..... In the long term the Tory’s want more and more of the benefits system privatised, so expect to have a lot more to do with these companies!